News and Commentary

Black Unemployment Back To Almost Record-Low In February

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for black Americans plunged back to near-record lows in February, after it had risen in January. The February jobless rate among black Americans fell to 6.9%, almost as low as December’s 6.8%, which was the lowest the agency had ever recorded since it started keeping the statistic in 1972. Before December’s record-breaking low, the previous low had come in April 2000, when it registered at 7%.

The black unemployment rate had spiked to 7.7% in January. In November, unemployment also hit a record low for Hispanic Americans; in February, Hispanic unemployment was only one-tenth of a percentage point above the historic low.

Despite the fact that the record-low unemployment for blacks occurred roughly a year after President Trump’s inauguration, the NAACP refused to give him credit in early January; Marvin Owens, Jr., director of economic programs for the NAACP, said:

The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the economic policies adopted over the past 7 years have been effective in putting people back to work. And while the current administration will undoubtedly try to take credit for these results, the truth is that the current administration inherited an overall economy that had been in 7 years of recovery.

In January, after the numbers came out for December, the White House simply noted, “The benefits of the low rates were felt broadly, resulting in unemployment rates for America’s veterans, African-Americans, and Hispanics that reached historic lows in 2017.”